In the face of the Trump administration’s continued pullback on environmental and climate action, dozens of U.S. mayors gathering in Chicago this week pledged to meet or exceed the emission reduction targets set forth in the 2015 Paris Agreement, signing on to the “Chicago Climate Charter.”
The charter requires participating cities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at least 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025; track and publicly report emissions; consider environmental justice issues and perspectives when making policy decisions; incorporate climate impacts into infrastructure and emergency planning; and work with scientists, businesses, investors, and community and environmental groups to develop climate mitigation and resilience solutions.
Mayors from more than 45 U.S. cities joined the charter, including New York City, San Francisco, and Portland, Oregon, but also leaders from smaller communities, such as Missoula, Montana; River Forest, Illinois; and Pittsboro, North Carolina, population 4,200. A number of foreign mayors also attended the conference and signed on to the charter, including Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, John Tory of Toronto, Isaya Mwita Charles of Dar es Salaam.
“For a moment in time that requires action, we’re offered by the White House inaction,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, host of the meeting. “Cities are stepping into the void of leadership.”
For more on how U.S. states are leading the way on climate action, click here.